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Pitchford dismisses vocal detractors

Gearbox president uses Develop keynote to say some gamers are sadists who thrive on anger, typically have "a less sophisticated mind"

Gearbox Software president and CEO Randy Pitchford doesn't mince words when it comes to his detractors, as he made clear during his keynote speech at the Develop Conference in Brighton. As reported by The Guardian, Pitchford explained his approach toward those who publicly diminished his work, saying some people just want to hate, and to convince others they should be hating, too.

"If you're making entertainment on a grand scale, if you're reaching millions, there will be tens of thousands of people who absolutely hate us, and some percentage of those will take it upon themselves to let us know how they feel," Pitchford said, adding, "I read it in this way: we moved those people, we touched them - even the person who hates [your game] so much, you've affected them. That's why we fight, we're creating emotion and experience - and some people thrive on that type of feeling, some people are sadists."

He later compared it to the way people treat sand castles on the beach. Some appreciate them; others knock them down.

"There is always the person who's got to stand on the sand castle, they must crush it," Pitchford said. "That's their way of relating to that. It's typically a less sophisticated mind. There's a dark part of us all that likes the idea of crushing a sand castle, but most of us will respect it and let it be. That's why we like playing video games where we can blow stuff up and no one gets hurt."

Pitchford has taken a similar tone with people who disliked his games previously. Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz last week, he called the class action lawsuit against his company alleging deceptive marketing practices in promoting Aliens Colonial Marines "mafia-style extortion tactics." Gearbox was dismissed from the suit in June, leaving publisher Sega in settlement talks with the plaintiffs.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.